Whether it’s a minor fender-bender or a more serious vehicle collision, anytime you’re involved in a car accident can be traumatic. When the other driver takes off without exchanging any information with you—commonly called a “hit-and-run”—you can be left feeling victimized as well. If you’re ever on the receiving end of a hit-and-run, be sure to follow these steps to protect yourself.
1. Never attempt to chase the other driver.
Following the hit-and-run culprit can further endanger you and your vehicle. Plus, if you don’t contact the police immediately, you may run into delays when filing an insurance claim.
2. Capture as much information as you can about the other vehicle.
This information can help police locate the other driver and ensure you don’t get stuck with paying for damages:
- Vehicle make, model and color
- License plate number (full or partial)
- Direction the other driver was headed
- Time and location of the accident
- Pictures of the scene and damages to your car
- The name and contact information of any eyewitnesses
3. Call the police.
Once all important information has been gathered, call the police immediately to file an accident report. When the police arrive, give them all the details you were able to capture.
4. Look for any video cameras in the area.
Many public places and private businesses have surveillance cameras, so be sure to check and see if one happened to capture the hit-and-run. Video footage can be a powerful tool to help police find the other driver.
5. Contact your insurance company.
After notifying your insurance company of the accident, the claims process will begin. If covered under your policy, they can also help with towing your vehicle from the scene and finding a rental car.
Do you have the right amount of auto insurance coverage?
In a hit-and-run collision, having the minimum auto insurance coverage may not provide the protection you need. To avoid getting stuck with the costs from a hit-and-run, make sure you have full collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. This can help protect you against drivers who don’t have liability insurance or who aren’t able to be tracked down after a hit-and-run.
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